Those of you who visited Lords of Pain over the last few days have probably heard the sad news. In case you haven't, let me be the first to tell you - WWE Superstars is no more. Yup, WGN has decided to cancel the weekly program after a near two-year run. As tragic as the announcement is (which means roster cuts may be more than usual this spring), I found WGN's explanation quite amusing. And I paraphrase, "We have decided not to renew Superstars because it has not reached the same level as Monday Night RAW on the USA Network".
Laugh. My. Ass. Off! You're telling me it took WGN network executives TWO YEARS to realize that Superstars would never be on par with RAW, or even Smackdown!? Really? That's pretty sad. Not only are there next-to-no storylines developing on Superstars, but their rating has never gone over a 1.1, while RAW rarely dips under 3.0. Superstars is/was a renewed version of Sunday Night Heat, and a place for lower mid-carders to show their stuff. When you tune into Superstars, you don't "expect everything", like John Cena vs. The Undertaker, or The Miz vs. Edge. You expect match-ups like Primo vs. David Hart Smith or JTG vs. Tyler Reks. Therefore, now that Superstars is set to once again retire several weeks after Wrestlemania XXVII, you can guarantee WWE will be cutting off some of their "excess fat". But who will suffer the eventual wrath of Vince McMahon and be out of work? I'm glad you asked.
I have no idea how Curt Hawkins is still employed. The poor guy has been wrestling on Superstars for months. Hell, the last time he appeared on Smackdown! was when he was teaming with Vance Archer. It's a shame their tag team didn't work out, as Hawkins proved he is quite skilled in the ring. Sadly, he has been treading water for quite some time now, and it's time that WWE put him out of his misery.
Another guy who is surely in misery right now is Tyler Reks. He has had two gimmicks while in the WWE, and both have failed miserably. The "Surfer" was just stupid, and his current look wouldn't scare a baby. He can't get a crowd reaction whether he's a face or a heel, and because of that, it's time for him to go.
Speaking of killing a crowd, Jimmy & Jey Uso have mastered the ability of putting an audience to sleep. They started off strong following their debut, as they put on good matches against The Hart Dynasty. Sadly, the fans grew tired of the feud, and The Usos as well. Since they're young, I say they'd be better suited refining their skills in FCW or another wrestling company.
The Usos aren't the only second-generation wrestlers taking the heat this time around. Ever since Carlito was released a few years back, Primo has become one of RAW's biggest jobbers. Probably the only notable thing he has done since his brother's departure is mentor A.J. on NXT and form "DZP" with Zack Ryder on Superstars. That being said, I think Primo has held on far longer than many of us expected him to. Hasta leugo, amigo.
But that's not all. David Hart Smith sucked as a singles star a few years ago, and teaming with Tyson Kidd the past year hasn't helped his current singles run. Smith is as plain as rye bread, and I cannot take him seriously as anything more than a jobber. A heel turn could help him, but he would probably still bore me to tears. Yet another second-generation fail.
This next one may surprise you. I honestly do not believe R-Truth will still be employed by the end of the year. Ever since the whole "Green Bay/Milwaukee" fuck-up, Truth has been royally de-pushed. He hasn't appeared on RAW in weeks, and "What's Up" will only remain popular for so long. WWE's current youth movement is in full-effect, with no signs of slowing down. Being in his early-forties, Truth doesn't quite fit into that category. The way I see it, when WWE PG goes, R-Truth goes. Maybe even before that.
Now for the divas. Despite her on-air relationship with Daniel Bryan, I don't think WWE has plans to ever push Gail Kim. It's a shame really, because she's one of the most older and more experienced divas currently on the roster, but can you see her winning the Divas Championship anytime in the future? I certainly can't. Don't be surprised if Kim is back in TNA by the end of the year.
This next one hurts me, because I think she's ridiculously hot, but Kaitlyn will likely be the second NXT winner to be released by the company. Since winning the competition, Kaitlyn has competed in what, two matches on Smackdown!? Add to the equation a limited in-ring ability and backstage heat, and suddenly things aren't looking good for the blonde bombshell. At least she's hot though.
Primo Colon won't be the only Hispanic released from the main roster in the near future, I'm afraid. Rosa Mendes and her thickness are in trouble post-Wrestlemania. Rosa has been an after-thought ever since the angle with Beth Phoenix fell through, and her wrestling skills have not improved much since then. She may know how to jump-rope, but Rosa is out of her element in the WWE.
Last and definitely not least is the biggest one of them all. I boldly predict that The Big Show will be gone by the end of the year. Before you call me crazy, look at the facts. Big Show has gone on hiatuses before, and has competed in other wrestling companies before. Not only that, but his huge weight loss from 2008 is a thing of the past, and that may be eating at him inside. Besides, there's only so much his body can take. Either by his own leave or WWE's decision, I don't see The Big Show competing on WWE television after SummerSlam.
Just to recap, here is the list of unfortunate victims whom I feel will no longer be with the company by the end of the year:
The Big Show
David Hart Smith
What do you guys think? Is my list believable, or am I on crack for thinking The Big Show and R-Truth will be gone in the not-so-distant future? Don't be scared to share your thoughts!
2. Day 286
Has there ever been a moment in your life when you felt like you absolutely had to accomplish something? I'm pretty sure we can all answer yes to this question. Whether it was working up the nerve to ask that pretty girl in the club to dance with you, or finishing all of your homework on a Thursday night so you have nothing to worry about over the weekend, we've all had to overcome obstacles in our lives that we felt were mandatory, for one reason for another. It doesn't matter why we put such importance on these things; all that matters is that we got the job done, because if we didn't, chances are we would regret it.
That's why at Wrestlemania XXVII, The Miz positively, absolutely, must retain his WWE Championship against John Cena. Now, I'm not saying that Wrestlemania will be ruined if we crown a new WWE Champion on April 3rd. After all, The Miz would surely invoke his rematch at Extreme Rules, and maybe even win back the championship, similar to Edge in 2009. The thing is, the damage would have already been done. Regardless of how well The Awesome One would rebound from a huge Wrestlemania loss against Cena, everything The Miz has accomplished since splitting with John Morrison and joining the RAW roster in 2009 will have been for nothing if he loses the WWE Championship in two weeks.
Let me explain. Many people claim that Miz's first reign as WWE Champion has surpassed their expectations. Despite several dirty finishes, the record books will forever show that The Miz has successfully defended his title against the likes of Randy Orton, Jerry "The King" Lawler, and John Morrison. Not only that, but for four consecutive weeks, The Miz made John Cena - WWE's "top guy" - his bitch, by continually getting the upper hand on Cena, and since the Royal Rumble, Cena is yet to get his revenge on The Miz. Considering the fact that Miz will be entering Wrestlemania XXVII as the WWE Champion, it's hard to argue that he has enjoyed an above-average first title run.
There are thousands - if not millions - who feel it would be justified for Cena to go over The Miz at Wrestlemania, and take back the WWE Championship. In their minds, it all adds up. The Miz frequently got the best of Cena during The Road to Wrestlemania, he's held the title since November, and Cena is one of the company's top superstars. Therefore, it makes perfect sense for Cena to end the "Era of Awesome" on The Grandest Stage Of Them All", right?
Wrong! In case you forgot, WWE spent a good year grooming The Miz to become the WWE Champion. He won the United States Championship on two separate occasions, held onto the title for nearly a year, and even won the (formerly) Unified Tag Team Championship with The Big Show. All of these title reigns saw The Miz spend the majority of 2010 wearing at least one championship around his waist. Prior to winning the WWE Championship in November, The Miz captained his Survivor Series team to victory, won Money in the Bank in July, mentored two rookies on NXT, and was engaged in high-profile feuds against John Morrison, Daniel Bryan, and MVP (remember him?). The Miz was constantly exposed to the WWE Universe, as the company was slowly but steadily building him up for his big moment, when he would cash in Money in the Bank and become WWE Champion.
There is no secret WWE views Miz as a potential mega-star in the future. They wouldn't have wasted over a year pushing him down our throats if they didn't. However, the only way The Miz can actually take what may be the last step to reaching that level is if he defeats John Cena at Wrestlemania XXVII. There is no reason for Cena to defeat Miz in Atlanta. Cena is already the top guy, a former nine-time WWE Champion, and future Hall of Famer. His status is already secured, even if he never wins another match. The same cannot be said for The Miz. The Miz vs. John Cena at Wrestlemania is the accumulation of years of work from both men, and the outcome all depends whether WWE is willing to go all the way with The Miz and crown him as one of their "top guys".
Some things in life are destined. Others not so much. However, that doesn't mean we can't change our fate. The Miz appears to be doomed for failure when he defends his WWE Championship in eleven days. But don't count him out just yet. The Miz needs this victory a lot more than the fans need a "feel-good", Wrestlemania moment. On April 3rd, a new star will either be born...or buried. There is no in-between for The Miz, no going back; at Wrestlemania, he puts it all on the line. This is the moment he's been waiting for his whole life, as the entire world will be watching his every move. The Miz must be victorious at Wrestlemania, because if not, no matter what he does, he will no longer be "awesome".
And that may be his biggest regret of all.
3. Day 287
Since we're nearing the end of March, it's no surprise that wrestling fans around the world have been bit by the Wrestlemania bug. I am no exception to the virus, therefore it's only fitting I get my kicks in while I can. While I would love to share with you my seven favorite Wrestlemania matches of all-time, I can't, for two reasons. One, because EVERYONE does that, and will continue to do so for years. Second, the first Wrestlemania I ever watched live was Wrestlemania XX, so it wouldn't be fair to include earlier Wrestlemanias since I have not seen them in their entirety.
As a result, I present to you My Seven Favorite Wrestlemania Matches From The Last Seven Years.
7. WWE Champion Batista vs. John Cena, Wrestlemania XXVI
Kicking off the countdown is one of the main-events from last year's Mania. Heading into Wrestlemania XXVI, not many people were expecting much from Cena and Batista. Sure, the crowd would probably be split, but not enough both men's biggest supporters could guarantee a technical classic. Well, they didn't have a five-star match, but I honestly believe both men worked hard enough to earn match of the night honours (sorry, 'Taker/HBK II). Everything from the crowd reaction to the false finishes and innovative offense from both superstars was spot-on, and I found myself glued to the screen. Excellent match that completely surpassed their previous effort at SummerSlam.
6. Money in the Bank Ladder Match, Wrestlemania XXIV In all honesty, if you don't count last year's clusterfuck, you can make an argument for any one of the previous MitB ladder matches making this list. Ever since it's debut at Wrestlemania XXI, fans have been treated to an entertaining spotfest year after year. Whether it was Jeff Hardy diving off a ladder onto Edge, Shelton Benjamin nearly killing himself every other year, or Kofi Kingston using a broken ladder as huge crutches, fans have witnessed their share of Wrestlemania moments since 2005. However, Wrestlemania XXIV's ladder match stands out to me the most because due to Jeff Hardy being pulled at the very last minute, no one knew for sure who would walk away with the briefcase. Ultimately, it would be CM Punk shocking the world and creating a Wrestlemania moment of his own by winning his first MitB ladder match.
5. World Heavyweight Champion Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit, Wrestlemania XX
It's truly a shame that wrestling fans of the future will probably never be able to view this match. While it may not have been the best triple threat match in wrestling history, it's one of the best. Going into the match, most people predicted either a HHH or HBK win, believing that Benoit would never get the chance to be "the top dog" in the WWE. After putting on a clinic, and taking the fans on an emotional roller-coaster, Benoit proved all his critics wrong by making HHH submit and winning the world title for the first (and only) time. No matter how much WWE tries to cover it up, I will never forget the tears Benoit shed after the match nor his celebration with best friend Eddie Guerrero. A true classic.
4. Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair, Wrestlemania XXIV
There are many people who exclude this match from their personal list of all-time greatest Wrestlemania matches due to the emotion factor. They argue that without Ric Flair's career on the line, without the hot crowd, without the passion displayed by both men, this would have been nothing but an average match-up. I say bullshit! Not every match has to be a technical masterpiece to be considered great. People don't remember Rock vs. Hogan from Wrestlemania XVIII because of the in-ring action, that's for sure. The same can be justified for Flair vs. Michaels. Both men went out to steal the show, and that's exactly what they did.
3. World Heavyweight Champion Batista vs. The Undertaker, Wrestlemania XXIII
I'm sure a number of you will call me out for placing this match way too high on the list, but I don't care. Wrestlemania XXIII saw two great world title matches, Michaels vs. Cena and Batista vs. Undertaker. Of the two, it's hard to argue that the two men currently in their forties found a way to put on the better match. For two superstars who have never been famous for their speed, both men moved lightening-quick during their match, and the crowd bought into every false finish. Several Batista Bombs and Last Rides later, neither man was ready to accept defeat. It took an impressive Tombstone Piledriver to silence The Animal and keep The Streak alive. Not only shocker of the night, but my pick for match of the year.
2. Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker, Wrestlemania XXV
Wrestlemania XXV will always be remembered for a lot of things; the debut of "Santina", Rey Mysterio squashing JBL in less than a minute, and of course, the anti-climatic main-event between Orton and Triple H. However, Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker will forever be remembered as the two men who saved Wrestlemania. Despite their age and in-ring limits, both men delivered a spectacle that superstars half their age weren't able to match. They fought for an action-filled thirty minutes, and had everyone watching hanging onto their every move. Nothing was on the line; no titles, no career, nothing. It was just two of wrestling's best performing at the biggest Pay-Per-View of the year. By the end of the night, fans around the world knew they had witnessed a mediocre event which just happened to feature one of the best matches ever. How ironic.
1. Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels, Wrestlemania XXI
Could there have been anything else? As amazing as Michaels vs. Taker was, the first ten minutes were a bit slow, while Angle vs. Michaels kicked off at full-speed and never slowed down. Both men had been feuding for weeks heading into the PPV, and that intrigue mixed with both men's natural chemistry resulted in a perfect match. I'm not kidding. There are people who say the perfect match does not exist, but in this case I have to disagree. Both Michaels and Angle brought their A+ game, which exceeded everyone's expectations and more. It doesn't even matter if the right man won; on this night, we as fans were treated to one of the best wrestling matches in history. Period.
WWE Champion John Cena vs. Triple H, Wrestlemania XXII Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio, Wrestlemania XXI Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker II, Wrestlemania XXVI World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho vs. Edge, Wrestlemania XXVI WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle, Wrestlemania XX Christian vs. Chris Jericho, Wrestlemania XX
4. Day 288
For the past six years, wrestling fans have grown accustomed to witnessing one of the most exciting matches of the 21st Century - the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. Since Wrestlemania XXI, match participants have gone the extra mile to wow fans, showcase their skills to the world, but maybe most importantly, to steal the show. Probably the best example of this state of mind was from the MitB Ladder Match from Wrestlemania XXIII, when Jeff Hardy decided to leap off the top off a ladder onto Edge suspended on a ladder next to the ring. It was truly a "HOLY SHIT!" moment. Mr. Kennedy may have left Wrestlemania XXIII with the MitB briefcase, but it was Hardy who stole the show.
This year, WWE find themselves in a pickle. Because of their "great" idea to create a Money in the Bank Pay-Per-View in July, officials have decided to remove the match from this year's Wrestlemania card. As a result, WWE Creative have been forced to develop storylines for the mid-card that do not revolve around a ladder and a guaranteed world title shot. On paper, Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan, Team Morrison vs. Team Ziggler, and Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes sound promising. Add in the all-but-confirmed Corre vs. Kane/Big Show/Kofi Kingston/Christian match, and you have yourselves an acceptable Wrestlemania undercard.
The question is, who will steal the show? There is no Money in the Bank match this year. "The Showstopper" Shawn Michaels is retired. Technically, the ball is in everybody's court.
One possibility is the world heavyweight championship match between Edge and the Royal Rumble winner, Alberto Del Rio. Ever since The Rock returned to RAW and Christian made his WWE return at the Elimination Chamber PPV, fans have slowly been caring less about Del Rio. Some say he is being pushed too quickly; others are tired of hearing his "repetitive" promos. For whatever reason, Alberto Del Rio vs. Edge has suddenly become an after-thought for many fans looking ahead to Wrestlemania. Therefore, much like Edge's match with Chris Jericho last year, I expect both men to prove the critics wrong and put on one the night's best matches this Sunday, with or without Christian.
Another potential steal-show is obviously The Rock. I'm sure there are countless fans who are ordering this year's Wrestlemania regardless of how they feel about the actual card - they just want to see The Rock host the event. No one knows what kind of role Rocky will play this Sunday. Will he guest referee a match? Perform backstage interviews? Beat-up the heels after their matches? Screw John Cena out of the WWE Championship? Heading into Wrestlemania XXVII, The Rock is nothing less than an X-factor, and I wouldn't be surprised if he does or says something to make me yell, "what. the. fuck!!".
For the first time in his career, Daniel Bryan will be wrestling at Wrestlemania. He has dreamed of this moment for years, and I'm sure he will make the most of his opportunity this Sunday in Atlanta. I'm not expecting his match with Sheamus to go longer than fifteen minutes, but I'll be damned if Bryan doesn't pull out something new from his arsenal on the Grandest Stage Of Them All. He may be a long-shot, but considering how well his opponent performed against Triple H at least year's 'Mania, Daniel Bryan [and Sheamus] may very well steal the show.
However, if I was a betting man, I would put my money on the formerly "Dashing" Cody Rhodes stealing the show on Sunday. Ever since he was drafted to Smackdown! last Spring, Cody Rhodes has been a force to be reckoned with. He made us laugh with his "Grooming Tips", impressed us with his in-ring skill, and more recently, showed how aggressive he can be. Rhodes has been on an exciting Road to Wrestlemania, which began before the Royal Rumble, and is still red-hot. Considering how dominant he has been against Rey Mysterio over the past few weeks, I'm not expecting Cody to defeat Mysterio on Sunday. That being said, don't think Cody won't give it his all and shine like a star on the biggest PPV of the year.
Ladies and gentlemen, he may no longer be "Dashing", but Cody Rhodeswill steal the show at this year's Wrestlemania. You can bank on it.
5. Day 289
A few days ago, it was reported that a “prominent RAW Superstar” was none too happy about being excluded from this Sunday’s Wrestlemania card. To paraphrase the anonymous individual, he basically said that it wasn’t fair that the superstars and divas who are on the road with the WWE 250-300 days a year aren’t booked for the big Pay-Per-View, but those simply making a “one night only” appearance are (i.e. Snooki, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin). First off, let me say that I agree. Why should guys like Kofi Kingston, Drew McIntyre, and most of the divas be left off the card, especially since they helped carry the company for a large part of the past year. Eve Torres and JTG weren’t selling out arenas, but they were wrestling night-in and night-out while guys like The Rock and The Undertaker stayed at home or were off making movies. I get that.
However, to say that the competitors booked for Wrestlemania XXVII are undeserving of their spots is complete bullshit. In fact, I can justify the reason for every single superstar, diva, and celebrity scheduled to appear on Sunday. Don’t believe me? Watch and learn.
-Many people are upset that Snooki will actually be competing at Wrestlemania. Why? It’s not like she will be wrestling for the divas championship or anything. She is simply helping the WWE bring in a higher buyrate than any current WWE diva could. Love or hate her, Snooki = ratings + mainstream publicity. Besides, would you really have preferred Kelly Kelly instead? I hope not.
-As much as I love Trish Stratus and her “puppies”, she has fallen off the radar of the majority of WWE’s current fanbase. That being said, she will always be one of the greatest WWE divas in history. Enough said.
-Is it fair to say that Team Lay-Cool has carried the women’s division for almost two years now? Without a doubt. They are two of the most over divas currently on the roster, and deserve a match at Wrestlemania.
-As for the male components of the six-person match, Dolph Ziggler and John Morrison are two of RAW’s brightest upcoming stars. Several months ago they were each contending for the world championship. I have a feeling one or both may be in a similar situation by the end of the summer. It would have been ridiculous to exclude either man from Sunday’s PPV.
-Speaking of future world title contenders, don’t be surprised if Cody Rhodes is pushed into the main-event scene sooner rather than later. While I doubt his program with Rey Mysterio will conclude on Sunday, you can tell officials are high on Rhodes’ work as of late, and for good reason. Splitting from Legacy was probably the best thing to happen to his young career.
-You all know I hate Rey Mysterio with a passion, but there was no way one of WWE’s biggest draws was missing the biggest PPV of the year. I’m just hoping he gives Cody a nice rub on Sunday (no homo).
-He may have been booked terribly for a good three or four months, but even if his losing streak was still intact, Sheamus was not going to miss Wrestlemania. He is a former two-time WWE Champion, the current United States Champion, and will one day be one of WWE’s top players. Of course Sheamus has a match on Sunday.
-Daniel Bryan might have not had one of the “best” U.S. title reigns in WWE history, but considering he held onto the belt for a good six months on WWE’s flagship show, that’s more than deserving of a match at Wrestlemania, in my opinion. Not only that, but he and Sheamus may very well tear the house down Sunday night.
-Edge will be going into this Sunday’s Wrestlemania with all the momentum in the world. Not only will Christian be in his corner, but he and his long-time partner have been getting the better of Alberto Del Rio & Brodus Clay in recent weeks. Edge is an 11-time World Champion who needs a victory on Sunday who not only belongs at Wrestlemania, but has to prove he’s deserving of his numerous title reigns.
-Ever since his Smackdown! debut last summer, Alberto Del Rio has quickly proven to be main-event material. Many thought it was premature for Del Rio to win the Royal Rumble, but he doesn’t feel out of his element at all heading into a world title match on Sunday. Win or lose, Del Rio has already accomplished something most superstars have not – win a Royal Rumble match.
-I’m a big fan of The Corre, and I’m glad they are booked to compete on Sunday. Unlike the “New” Nexus, Wade Barrett and friends have been dominating Smackdown!, and three of the four members are heading into their match as champions.
-I’m satisfied that The Big Show and Kane have formed a temporary alliance in recent weeks, as it guarantees them a place on the Wrestlemania card and something for the big men to do on Sunday. At one point in time, both men were two of the biggest superstars in the WWE. They may not be regarded in the same light nowadays, but they deserve a spot on the card, no matter what.
-There are many fans who are not happy about KozTino being added to The Corre/Big Show match, but I don’t understand why. Santino and Koslov had a surprisingly good run as tag team champions, and Santino remains one of the most over talents on the RAW roster. In recent months, both men have stepped up their game and are deserving of a match on Sunday.
-While it certainly won’t be the main event, Jerry “The King” Lawler will see his dream come true on Sunday when he finally wrestles at Wrestlemania. After more than fifteen years of employment, it’s about time that Lawler makes his in-ring debut on the Grandest Stage of them All.
-How does Michael Cole, an announcer, get a high-profile match at Wrestlemania, you ask? Easy – by being one of WWE’s biggest heels. Ever since his heel turn last March, Cole has done everything in his power to get hated by millions of fans and it worked. Cole will finally get what he deserves at Wrestlemania.
-The Undertaker’s Streak has become one of Wrestlemania’s selling points in recent years. There are fans who order the PPV just to see him defend it. In fact, without The Undertaker scheduled to compete, it almost doesn’t feel like Wrestlemania. Thankfully WWE doesn’t have to worry about that for at least another year.
-He may not have competed in a televised match in nearly a year, but Triple H is more than deserving of a high-profile match at Wrestlemania. He is a former 13-time World Champion, and a future WWE Hall of Famer. He will never be as big as The Rock or Stone Cold Steve Austin, but that doesn’t matter. He is one of the greatest superstars to ever step foot in the ring.
-It’s funny how one year ago The Miz competed in the opening match of Wrestlemania XXVI, and now, one year later, he is scheduled to defend the WWE Championship in this year’s main-event. No one has worked harder than The Miz over the past year, and no one has come close to matching his work ethic. The Miz not only deserves to be in the main-event of Wrestlemania, but he also deserves to walk away with his title intact.
-It’s Wrestlemania. Obviously John Cena will be in the main-event. No explanation needed.
-And that leaves us with the host of Wrestlemania, The Rock. He may never wrestle again, he may bring it via satellite, and he may no longer be the true People’s Champion, but at the end of the day, he’s still The Rock. Fans will purchase Wrestlemania just to see him. Getting The Rock to appear at Wrestlemania was one of the best ideas Vince McMahon has ever had.
So there you have it. We can complain non-stop about how guys like Kingston and McIntyre got shafted out of Wrestlemania, but these guys and gals have certainly earned their spot on the card. Hey, we can always look on the bright side - at least R-Truth won’t be there.
6. Day 290
Considering I won’t be online Sunday, and tomorrow I have a shit load of homework to do, I figured I might as well get my Wrestlemania predictions out of the way. Contrary to what some people think, this year’s card is very unpredictable, to say the least. I doubt I’ll go 9-0, but I’ll try my best.
Randy Orton vs. CM Punk
To be honest with you, before two weeks ago, I had very little interest in this match taking place. CM Punk’s “New” Nexus were boring me to tears, and the fact that Orton constantly got the upper-hand and single-handedly killed each one off in a month didn’t help matters. Thankfully, once it came down to Punk and Orton one-on-one, that’s when things got interesting. Punk ambushing Orton with a wrench and then taking advantage of his injury on last week’s RAW showcased Punk as the true villain he is.
Punk needs the win at Wrestlemania a lot more than Orton does, but I don’t see Orton losing on Sunday, especially after being made to look like Punk’s bitch the last two weeks on RAW. This probably won’t be the match of the night, but I’m expecting a good showing at the very least.
Winner: Randy Orton
Cody Rhodes vs. Rey Mysterio
It’s amazing how far Cody Rhodes has come since splitting with Legacy just a year ago. He may not be wrestling for the world championship, but a high-profile match against Rey Mysterio at Wrestlemania is a lot better than what his former partner Ted DiBiase will be doing on Sunday (which is absolutely NOTHING).
As much as I enjoyed his “Dashing” gimmick, Rhodes was not going to be taken as a serious contender until he dropped that moniker. Thankfully, Mysterio inadvertently entered the picture by injuring Rhodes last January and forcing him to miss both the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber Pay-Per-Views. This has allowed Rhodes to debut a new mask, look, and attitude.
I cannot recall the last time Mysterio lost at Wrestlemania, and therefore I would be a fool to bet against his chances on Sunday, but I think Rhodes will find a way to continue to build momentum and defeat Mysterio in one of the night’s better matches. Don’t count on this feud ending anytime soon.
Winner: Cody Rhodes
United States Championship – Sheamus(c.) vs. Daniel Bryan
And the trend of strong undercard matches continue. Sheamus and Bryan have had their fair share of matches and encounters over the past few weeks, so to call this a last-minute addition to Wrestlemania is an exaggeration. Both men had incredible 2010s, but have fallen off the radar so far in 2011. I think this match, if given at least ten minutes, could open a lot of people’s eyes.
While it wouldn’t make sense to take the title off Sheamus mere weeks after he won it, I can’t see Bryan losing his third straight match to The Celtic Warrior on Sunday. Bryan should win at Mania, and then drop the belt to a heel who needs it more (Zack Ryder, maybe?).
Winner, and NEW United Sates Champion, Daniel Bryan
The Corre vs. The Big Show, Kane, Vladimir Koslov, and Santino Marella
I don’t understand why people are so negative about this match. So what if Christian and Kofi Kingston were replaced by Koztino? It would have made no sense to throw them in the match! The Big Show has been feuding with The Corre since January, while Kane and Koztino have history with the faction dating back to Survivor Series. The match may have been announced late, but we knew for weeks it was going to happen.
While it would make sense for the face team to win, no member of The Corre have ever competed at Wrestlemania, and I don’t think WWE wants them to all lose their first match (especially Barrett and Jackson). We might see The Cobra strike, but that won’t win Team Big Show the match.
Winners: The Corre
Dolph Ziggler, Layla, and Michelle McCool vs. John Morrison, Trish Stratus, and Snooki
It’s all about Snooki-Mania, baby. I don’t see this match being given a lot of time (which is probably a good thing), but entertaining while it lasts. This match is less about rivalries and more about getting Lay-Cool, Morrison, and Ziggler on the Wrestlemania card, as well as WWE getting themselves some mainstream publicity.
Match of the night? No chance in hell. But it’s not going to be a piss-break, either. Expect Snooki to slap Vickie Guerrero and pin a member of Team Lay-Cool.
Winners: John Morrison, Trish Stratus, and Snooki
Jerry “The King” Lawler vs. Michael Cole
Considering that Jack Swagger and Stone Cold Steve Austin are also involved, expect this to be booked to the limit. Michael Cole has done a phenomenal job as one of WWE’s top heels, and Lawler cannot wait to shut his mouth AND wrestle in his first-ever Wrestlemania match.
What can we expect? At least three Stone Cold Stunners, possibly an “An-Cole” lock, and something entertaining. But nothing more.
Winner: Jerry “The King” Lawler
World Heavyweight Championship: Edge (c.) vs. Alberto Del Rio
If you read Wednesday’s column, you’ll know I’m a big fan of this match and am still enjoying Del Rio’s work. Adding Christian and Brodus Clay to the plot were good moves by the WWE because it prevented us from watching debates, face-offs and the like between Edge and Del Rio. While I would have preferred to see Christian added to this match, making it a Triple Threat, this should be one of the night’s top matches nonetheless.
Believe it or not, Edge needs to retain his title more than Del Rio needs to become champion. Despite a teased heel turn from Captain Charisma, I think that’s what will happen.
Winner, and STILL World Heavyweight Champion: Edge
No Holds Barred: Triple H vs. The Undertaker
Anyone who expects this match to be on par with Michaels/Undertaker is setting themselves up for a huge letdown. Both men will go out, give it their all, electrify the fans, beat the hell out of each other, and that’s what matters. The chances of Triple H, The Undertaker, or any other WWE Superstar putting on a better performance at Wrestlemania than the one at Wrestlemania 25 are very low. I’m sure both men know that, and will look to tell a different story instead.
This match should NOT be the main-event, and I don’t think WWE will go that route, anyway. HHH will make us think he has a chance several times throughout the match, but in the end, there can only be one…winner.
Winner: The Undertaker
WWE Championship: The Miz (c.) vs. John Cena
When this match was first announced, not a lot of fans were content. To them, Cena vs. Miz did not “feel” like a Wrestlemania main-event. Fortunately, with or without The Rock, both men were able to convince the world otherwise in recent weeks, as many people cannot wait to see what will happen on Sunday, as the possibilities are endless. Will Cena win the title, only to turn heel afterwards. Will Miz use another dirty tactic to retain his title? Will The Rock screw Cena out of the belt? Will he screw Miz?
Ladies and gentlemen, at Wrestlemania anything can happen - even a successful title defense by The Miz.
Winner, and STILL WWE Champion: The Miz
7. Day 291
"What a night!", he says to an empty locker room in Altanta, Georgia. He can't stop thinking about how HBK almost cost The Undertaker his legendary streak, or how The Miz shocked the world by retaining the WWE Championship against John Cena (thanks to an assist from The Rock, no less). Edge and Del Rio put on a wrestling clinic, although the same couldn't be said about Cole vs. Lawler. Their "match" made last year's showdown between Bret Hart and Vince McMahon look amazing in comparison. What a letdown.
All in all though, he had to admit that it was a pretty good Wrestlemania. While it wasn't as epic as some people thought it would be, the boys and girls certainly came through tonight. Championships were won, rivalries were settled, and The Streak remained intact. But there was just one thing missing from Wrestlemania XXVII...
After his impressive outing at last year's 'Mania, he was 100% sure he would have been booked on tonight's show. Not only did he improve in the ring, but he got over with the fans, and even challenged for the WWE Championship during the summer. Dolph Ziggler, Sheamus, and The Miz are all cool dudes, but he is the future of the WWE. He should already have added a world title to his long list of accomplished.
But, he didn't. Management (or Vince, or maybe both!) decided he was not important enough to compete at this year's Wrestlemania. For some reason, the timing was not right, and he didn't fit into any of the on-going storylines. Mind you, he had been impressing a lot of people with his work as recently as last month, and yet that was not enough to get him to the "showcase of the immortals". Somehow, he had become an after-thought.
And you know what? That makes him angry. Ever since his WWE debut (or re-debut), he has been busting his ass day-in and day-out trying to make it to the top of the card. He has won big matches, he has jobbed to people who shouldn't be going over, and the whole time, he has not complained. Not once, not even to his parents. Every week, he shows up to work and does his job, doing what is asked of him. If WWE gave out an Employee of the Month award, he would have won it twice by now.
But at the end of the day - this day - none of that matters. What has all his good behaviour and constant efforts got him? Nothing. He hasn't received a raise, hasn't won a championship, and did not even get to compete at Wrestle-Freakin'-Mania. While a good portion of the locker room is out celebrating the big night, he's sitting by himself backstage, wondering where it all went wrong. Not that it matters; he works better alone. Always has, always will. After all, there's no "we" in "success".
He thinks back to his short-lived program with the reigning world heavyweight champion, Edge. Man, those were some good times. They may never have got a chance to compete one-on-one on Pay-Per-View, but everytime they crossed paths, the fans could feel the electricity in the air. It wasn't "Rock-like" intensity, but it was powerful enough for the fans wants to see more of him and Edge together. And that's what they got. Until Edge moved on. Yeah, that's probably when he lost his direction. The Rated R (PG?) Superstar had better things to do than enter a high-profile feud with him.
Or so they think! He is done being a jobber to the stars. He wants to be the star. He wants to win titles, not lay down for champions. He wants to have his own talk show, not hang around catering all-day long. He wants to feud with the likes of Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, and maybe even John Cena. He wants a chance to take the ball, run, and never look back. He doesn't want to be in the main-event; he wants to be the main-event.
In fact, you might as well book him for Wrestlemania XXVIII now, since it's only 364 days away. That's right, he promises that sooner or later, things will change, and he will be competing for the world title at the biggest PPV of 2012. There's no denying that it is hisdestiny to do so.
Sorry for the last-minute ColuMania entry, bros. I was hoping to post today's column a lot earlier, but work got in my way (as usual). If you haven't already, you should really check out some of the columns being written for the tournament. Not to single anyone out, but Hustle, priest, and OniBarubary have produced some pretty awesome work. Great writers writing for a fun cause.